Innovating the people

By: Carl Dierschow Thursday February 1, 2018 0 comments Tags: Carl Dierschow

By Carl Dierschow

Small Fish Business Coaching

We sure do focus a lot on innovation in technology.

And that’s fine, I guess, but it leads us to think that tech is how most problems get solved. And in my experience, it’s usually not the problem.Carl_Dierschow_USE

Most often, innovation needs to happen in the way people think and interact.

Sure, tech can help us to think, learn, interact, make decisions, and align. That’s a wonderful thing.

But until the people involved change, technology is ineffective. Here’s an example:

I lead a team of people, and we’re snowed under by the amount of activity going on. Tons of decisions, questions zipping back and forth, and group deadlines that we’re trying to meet.

So we adopt some groupware. Magnificent!

Except nothing changes, because we discover that the people on my team already have work patterns that work reasonably well. For each of them individually. Some use a lot of email, some are texting, others are making use of shared Google Drives.

So we provide training on the groupware, and even add a dose of enthusiasm because we really do-- honestly -- want to get everyone on the same platform.

But the needle moves 3%.

It’s because, face it, people aren’t comfortable with change imposed from the outside. Even when we have an impassioned plea that it’s “for the greater good,” it’s more comfortable to stick with old patterns. The current process and tools may not be ideal, but I know how they work and where the gotchas are.

Our challenge, as innovators, is to start with the people first. Because when the people aren’t excited to change, pretty much nothing else makes a difference.

Start with customers and employees. And yourself.


If you’re interested to explore this idea more, check out my Values Based Business blog where I write on this and similar topics.

Carl Dierschow

About the Author: Carl Dierschow


Carl Dierschow is a professional business coach in Northern Colorado. He’s the U.S. associate for Small Fish Business Coaching, headquartered in Australia. He works with owners of small and medium-size businesses to radically improve their success through strengthening market position, improving customer attraction and loyalty, building more powerful organizations, etc. Carl brings more than 15 years of business coaching expertise to helping businesses solve their critical issues and achieve their goals. His best tools are straightforward yet powerful, transparent, and biased toward action. Visit his website at